Just like humans, dental issues can cause cats significant discomfort. Pain in a cat's mouth and teeth might even lead to a loss of appetite. Our veterinarians at Mahopac provide valuable advice on maintaining your cat's oral health.
Will My Cat Always Show Signs of Dental Pain?
Cats are really skilled at hiding their physical discomfort. Your cat might be feeling mouth pain without displaying any signs. Pet owners need to be attentive in maintaining their cat's dental hygiene and scheduling regular vet visits.
By practicing good dental care, potential oral issues can be caught early, avoiding increased pain and costly treatments for your cat.
If you observe these signs in your cat, it's best to reach out to your vet, as they could indicate dental problems:
- Bad breath
- Bleeding or swollen gums
- Refusing to eat
Taking your cat to the vet is the best way to learn if your feline friend is experiencing any dental health issues.
Dental Checkups For Cats
To keep your cat's mouth pain-free and healthy, the vets at Mahopac Animal Hospital suggest taking your kitty to a dental checkup at least once a year as part of a preventative care routine. This would be like taking them to the dentist. The vets will examine your cat's dental health as well as perform a physical health evaluation to inform you if they need professional dental cleaning or surgery to restore their overall well-being.
Establishing a Dental Care Routine For Cats
Remember to brush and floss your cat's teeth just like you do for yourself. By creating a daily habit of taking care of their oral health, you can keep your furry friend's mouth fresh and well. To make brushing your cat's teeth easy and comfortable, start when they're young. This way, your cat will become accustomed to the process, and having their teeth cleaned won't be stressful.
Making the task of brushing your cat's teeth an easy and low-stress process is your daily goal. To do this, wait for your cat to be calm before following these steps:
- Carefully lift your cat's lips, and massage your kitty's gums and teeth with a finger for a few seconds.
- Do not expect much patience from your cat at first. You may only accomplish a second or two on your first few attempts, that's fine. Just be careful to stop before your cat gets too excited.
- Stay calm, and remember to give your kitty lots of treats and praise after the teeth-and-gum massage. You want your cat to build tolerance to the experience, continuously adding more time to the task everyday.
- As soon as your kitty is familiar with getting their gums and teeth massaged daily, you may gradually start including a soft-bristled toothbrush ( and possibly a toothpaste for cats) that's recommended by your vet. The cat toothpaste is available in a variety of flavors cats love, including beef or chicken!
- Start introducing the toothbrush the same way you did the teeth-and-gum massage (gradually); at first, your cat might just lick a small bit of toothpaste from your fingertip.
Your cat's teeth cleaning depends on their personality. Stay patient and adaptable in your brushing approach, following your cat's comfort level. Some prefer soft gauze or a finger, while others use cat dental gel on a finger or brush.
As you get better, brush near the gums swiftly, stopping before your cat gets frustrated. Remember, it might take weeks for your cat to tolerate a full teeth brushing.
If brushing upsets your cat and leads to biting or scratching, consider dental toys, treats, or additives in their water.
Besides your home care, regular professional dental cleanings from your vet are crucial for your cat's dental health.
To learn more about our dental care at Mahopac Animal Hospital, visit our dentistry page.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.